Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus #BuilttoAmaze

On November 5th we were given the opportunity to attend the Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus through the US Family Guide.  Victoria attended her very Ringling Bros. circus in 2012 and loved it (we were in the front row!) so I knew she was going to be thrilled to go again! 

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We arrived early to attend the preshow, which is one of my favorite parts! There was a lot to see and do down on the circus floor.  There were clowns everywhere, and two stages with alternating shows, so much to see that Victoria requested “a high one” from daddy, also known as a shoulder sit.  We grabbed a few pictures entered a contest to win Chic-fil-a for a year (and sad to report we did not win) and before we knew it, it was time to head to our seats. 

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We brought our own glow sticks (I think I have bought stock in glow sticks, we take them everywhere now, saves $$) and a few snacks, but Victoria did talk us into an icee in a clown cup before sitting down. I learned that this is not something you buy at intermission because it takes her the entire show to eat! 

Victoria was fully engaged in the show the minute it started! They had elephants, tigers, horses, and dogs, all acts were impressive, Victoria loved the dog show the best!  It amazes me how Ringling Bros. works hard to out do the previous show, many of the acts we saw were bigger and more dangerous than they were two years ago.  Greg and I really were impressed with the acrobats, if you can walk on the ceiling of the Mellon Arena with no harness or net, that is impressive!  Each act was full of excitement, thrill and magic not just to a 3 year old, but to everyone in the crowd. 

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Victoria said several times that night, “This is the BEST show ever!!” Greg and I would have to agree with her! Ringling Bros. said they are Build to Amaze, and they 100% amazed us!!!  Thank you Ringling Bros. and US Family Guide for this fun opportunity to create memories with our daughter.

*We left Amelia at home with grammy and papa and she decided to take her first steps that night, and we missed it!  I guess that was her way of saying, “Bring me with you next time!”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amelia at 9 and 10 Months!

Amelia’s 9 month chair picture

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Aaaand some outtakes…

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Amelia’s 10 month chair picture

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It feels like forever since I gave an Amelia update…oh wait, it was forever ago! Last week our sweet baby reached the double digits of babyhood.  10 MONTHS! Time really flies when you have two in tow.  And Amelia has not slowed down at all!

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Amelia’s 9th and 10th month are similar…she is NONSTOP! I thought maybe we would luck out with a laid back baby because her personality is very chill, but no such luck, she is even more active than Victoria was at this age, and I didn’t think that was possible.

Stats: We had her 9 month appointment last month (October 15th) where she weighed in at 21 lbs 2 ounces and 29 inches long.  She also had her ears pierced by our favorite doctor.  It was a just a little traumatizing for her because she had her last Hep B shot and her flu shot in the same appointment, but I was glad to get it all done at once, instead of several traumatizing days. She was a happy baby again by the time we left the office. I know some moms wait to get their ears pierced, and either way it will hurt, but when they are babies they don’t remember the experience at all, bonus!  She still only has 8 teeth, I would expect her molars to come in soon, V’s were in before her 1st birthday and they have followed the same growth patterned for teeth. She continues to crawl and can climb up on the couch when booster with a pillow.  She has also climbed up our entire set up steps going to our second floor. She is nuts!  She has been standing on her own for short periods of time and has take a few steps here and there, I like to call this the Weeble Wobble phase. We could be in this phase for awhile until she is officially walking, or not? Who knows!

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Feeding: She is eating just about everything we put in front of her, just as long as she is the one to feed herself. She does not like when we feed her with a spoon, even if it is something she likes, she has to do it.  She also has refused all baby food, unless we trick her and she sucks it out of a pouch (again because she is feeding herself). My least favorite part about this phase is the absolute mess at meal times, and I know this messy phase isnt going away anytime soon.  Our high chair is easily the grossest thing in our house.  She is still on formula from a bottle several times a day too.

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Favorites: She loves her bamboo swaddle blanket (just like her sister) she rubs it on her face before bed and nap, it is the cutest thing.  She loves the Bubble Guppies theme song, as soon as she hears it she starts bouncing and waving her arms (I have got to get this on video). She loves to climb on the couch and is so, so proud of herself once she is up there.  She likes her Baby Einstein videos (especially for long car trips), she likes her binky, but doesn’t seem as attached to it as Victoria, only using it for naps and bedtime.  She absolutely loves bath time, especially when she can have a solo bath and full access to all the toys, as soon as she hears the water she will crawl right into the bathroom. She loves when her sister makes her laugh.  V has gotten into a habit of making her laugh when she starts to cry and Amelia immediately starts laughing.

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Sisterhood:  They continue to be so much fun to watch. Amelia loves to watch and follow Victoria, which is not always a go thing (ie…when she is doing flips off the couch).  Victoria is still not a huge fan of sharing all the time, but has gotten better with distracting her with a different toy instead of having to give her the one she is playing with.  Victoria has taken her down the slide a few times at the park or on our swing set, I will probably never get a picture because I don’t trust V for a second.  I feel so lucky to be home with them during this time, to be able to watch the sisterhood unfold.

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Social: Amelia is in this super cute mimicking phase…we have been doing lots of ba ba bas, and ma ma mas etc.  She has also started to shake her head no when you tell her no.  She is not super attached to me, she has gone to anyone that has wanted to hold her without tears, I am impressed.  She does get sad if Greg does not pay enough attention to her when he walks in the door from work, she loves him!

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Events: We were busy with lots of Halloween related activities last month, she went to two pumpkin patches, had her first hayride, dressed up in her cow costume (Mia-Moo), and enjoyed having Grammy & Papa living with us. Amelia was also baptized right before she turned 9 months. We celebrated daddy, grammy and papa’s birthday too.  This month we have already made a trip back home to NY to see Aunt Jodie, Uncle Ben, baby Bryan, and some more high school friends, along with checking out my uncle’s new apartment and a stop at grandpa’s firehouse.  We have Light Up Night in Pittsburgh next week, and we are hosting Thanksgiving the following week, so this month is going to fly by!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

A Spooky Good Time!

We were busy having lots of Halloween fun during the month of October!  I decided to combine a bunch of activities into one post so that I don’t fall too far behind on the blog.  October is my favorite month to do Holiday themed activities and since I am home with the girls (less than 3 months left, booooo) I am really trying to make the absolute most of my time as a TSAHM!

We didn’t have our annual Halloween party this year because Grammy & Papa and a lot of their stuff was living with us for part of October and we were busy just about every weekend, but we will have our 10th annual next year!  I also want to have a big toddler Halloween party next year.  I decided at the last minute to throw together a small play date Halloween themed get together during the week.  We did not have a ton of time, but we crammed a lot of fun activities in.  The kiddos went on a ghost hunt in the yard, tried silly string for the first time, came inside and decorated cookies and made a spider craft, sang Happy Birthday to Logan and there was even some time for them to trash the basement  play before they had to leave.  The kiddos had a great time together, and it was nice to catch up with their mommas.

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Next up…

We decided to go to Zoo Boo for the first time!  We have a membership, so there was no additional cost to attend and the weather was awesome.  Grammy & Papa stayed home with Amelia, so it was a nice mommy/daddy date for Victoria.  I love being able to spend some one-on-one time with her.  She loved trick-or-treating for CANDY at the zoo, eating almost all of it before leaving.  They had a cute haunted house and without hesitation, took the warewolf for a walk through the entire house.  She dressed as a penguin, because you have to dress like the animals when you go to the zoo, right?!  It was not her “official” costume, but when her momma has a costume addiction, there are lots to pick from and ALL will be worn, at least once!  Ha! After visiting with the penguins, she was over wearing her costume, which was good because she wanted to get her face painted and lucky for us the line was short and the face painting was free.  She told the lady she wanted Frozen, and she whipped it up in about 5 minutes!  Surprisingly, it did not smear through her play at the playground.  Victoria also tried her first pixie stick, and was in love immediately, of course.  Grabbed a few pictures on the way out and we were leaving just as the huge crowds were entering.

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Greg’s birthday is also in October, and we usually celebrate during the Halloween party, but this year, since Grammy and Papa were here, we actually went out on a date for his birthday.  We went to a fabulous meatball place in the city, Sienna Mercato. Then we went to $5 movie night to see Gone Girl.  It was a great night out!  I forgot to celebrate daddy’s birthday with the girls, so a few days later, Victoria helped me make birthday cupcakes, grammy and papa helped make a haunted house, we gave daddy a few presents and sang happy birthday. Victoria gets so excited about birthdays, they don’t even have to be hers!

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The last activity was attending the township Halloween parade!  We missed it last year, so we were excited to be able to attend this year!  We checked in, took some pictures, talked with some friends, went on a hayride and then it was time for the parade.  The kiddos walked by age group and Victoria and Amelia were in the same age group so that made things easy.  After the parade we had some apple cider, cookies and the kids were given a goodie bag of candy!

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I have one more Halloween post coming soon because I just could not fit everything in this post!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Favorite Little Patch

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In the 4 years we have been doing this whole pumpkin patch gig, we have always felt the need to go to two patches, to double our fun? Who knows…the combinations are usually different, but one patch has remained consistent.  There is a smaller patch a few miles down the road, it has a little bit of everything that you look for in a patch: hayride, farmer’s market, animals, corn maze, candy apples etc. but the one thing it doesn’t have is the crowds! It is the perfect little patch and we have been every year, with the exception of 2012.  You can read about our first visit here and our trip last year here.

Look how scary this is…

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The first picture is with me and Victoria in 2011 and the second is the one with me and Amelia this year.  Apparently I have a standard pumpkin patch outfit and so do my children…so weird!

And while we are comparing, check out Victoria on the pumpkin haystacks, my favorite part about this farm!

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As you can see, she has gotten a lot braver in a year, standing on the haystack like she is Queen of the Pumpkins.

 

One more…

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Victoria’s 1st Halloween  and Amelia’s 1st Halloween at our favorite little patch!

 

We went to this patch the day before Amelia’s baptism, so we had family in town to share in this experience.  My mom, dad, stepdad, brother and his girlfriend all made it out to the patch.  It is a good this Grandpa drives a Traverse!

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We had a great morning at our favorite little patch!!

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